Learning and teaching a second language demands an examination of the linguistic target and the amount of language variation that is required in different communicative contexts. This chapter describes decisions about a reasonable set of complexity, differences between orality and literacy, and attitudes toward variation as critical issues in defining pedagogical norms and standards. It presents different strands of research that inform the discussion; that is, studies on the development of sociolinguistic competence, teachers’ and learners’ attitudes toward language variation, and pedagogical approaches to foster sociolinguistic competence. The presented considerations underline that taking into account language variation and a critical reflection of the social side of language is valuable and desirable in second language teaching and learning.